If you keep wondering if your toddler has grown a monkey tail, you're not alone. Youngsters seem to have some sort of magnetic pull towards climbable objects, but dressers and other cabinets with drawers can be dangerous climbing apparatuses. You can work on convincing your kiddo to abandon his climbing efforts, through positive reinforcement or time outs. (Shh! -- there's always bribery if you get desperate!) In the meantime, hamper his efforts by keeping those drawers securely shut and the dresser firmly against the wall to keep him safe.
1. Childproof the Drawers
1 Remove anything heavy from the top of the dresser. If your kiddo's intent on trying to climb the dresser, just rocking it from below can make heavy objects fall off the top.
2. Childproof the Drawers
2 Fill the bottom drawers with heavy stuff, like that old collection of encyclopedias nobody is every going to look at again.
3. Childproof the Drawers
3 Pick up a package of childproofing drawer latches. These come in different styles. You can get spring-operated latches, but your toddler may eventually figure out how to open these. Opt for magnetic latches because these require a key to get into the drawer.
4. Childproof the Drawers
4 Install the latches according to the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure you read through all instructions, safety precautions and warning to ensure the safest install for your youngster.
5. Secure the Dresser
1 Move the dresser away from the wall and locate the studs behind the wall with a stud finder. Mark the studs with a pencil so you know where they are later.
6. Secure the Dresser
2 Hold an L-bracket against the back frame of the dresser and screw the bracket to the dresser with a screwdriver or drill. Make sure you drill through solid wood, not the flimsy backing on some dressers. Otherwise, your toddler will have the bracket ripped out of the wall in no time. If you've got a tough little guy, it wouldn't hurt to put in an extra L-bracket for added support.
7. Secure the Dresser
3 Slide the dresser back into place against the wall and line up the L-bracket with at least one of the studs. Screw the bracket into the stud. Now even if your munchkin manages to get through the childproof locks, he can't pull the dresser down on himself.
Items you will need
- Heavy books
- Childproofing drawer latches (magnetic preferred)
- Stud finder
- Screwdriver (or drill)
- Kidshealth.org: Household Safety: Preventing Injuries from Falling, Climbing, and Grabbing
- What's a Homeowner to Do?; Stephen Fanuka et al.
- The Official Baby Handbook; B.K. Olsen
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images